Featuring 37 artworks by pioneering artist Huang Tu-shui as well as an extensive selection of archives, the exhibition "An Undefeatable Quest for Freedom and Beauty: The Life and Art of Huang Tu-Shui (臺灣土・自由水：黃土水藝術生命的復活)" is currently on view at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) until July 9, offering an opportunity for the public to gain an in-depth understanding of this extraordinary sculpture artist.
Born in Monga, Taiwan under Japanese rule, Huang Tu-Shui (1895-1930) was recognized as the sole representative of Taiwan’s sculptural scene between the 1910s and 1930s. After completing his education at the Taiwan Governor-General's National Language School, he was admitted to the Department of Woodcarving, Tokyo Fine Arts School (now the Tokyo University of the Arts) in 1915, becoming the first Taiwanese artist to study Western sculpture in Japan. From 1920 to 1924, Huang had been selected four times in a row for the Teiten (帝展) where he competed with Japanese sculptors, and such laurels made him famous in both Taiwanese and Japanese art circles.
Between 1928 and 1930, Huang had committed his boundless creative energy to the bas-relief "Taiwan Buffalos (水牛群像)" with the intention of partaking in the Teiten again. However, his life came to an abrupt end due to illness on Dec. 21, 1930, at the age of 36. Nevertheless, his creative style vividly reflected Taiwan's natural conditions and social customs as well as Taiwanese people's diligence, making him an iconic figure in Taiwanese art history. Huang was one of the pioneers of carving who marked the dawn of the history of modern sculpture in Taiwan.
NTMoFA highlighted that the exhibition represents the artist’s short yet unremitting artistic career, emphasizing his extraordinary contributions to Taiwan’s art history, which in return strengthens the cultural identity of Taiwanese society. For more information, please visit NTMoFA's official website.
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